The Senate approved an amendment to the defense authorization bill Wednesday that would restore the military’s ability to invest in biofuels. Sen. Mark Udall’s (D-Colo.) amendment, 2985, strikes Section 313 of the National Defense Authorization Act, S. 3254, which bars the military from purchasing biofuels that cost more than petroleum and from spending money to scale up biofuel refineries.
“Our military is on the cutting edge technologically, but much of our fighting capability relies on foreign fossil fuels and decades-old power systems. That dependence has very real human and economic costs. Today’s strong bipartisan vote affirms that we should allow our military leaders to continue to develop and use advanced alternative fuels in order to bring down costs and improve mission capabilities," Udall said in a Wednesday statement.
The program has the support of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, who also contend it would stabilize energy costs. They call the program vital for energy security, saying it gives the military more fuel options and loosens it from foreign oil’s grip.